ADEQ Study Confirms Public School Drinking Water Below Established Testing Levels

PHOENIX – Arizona’s public school drinking water systems were below established testing levels for lead contamination, according to just-completed Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) testing. The study used a more conservative standard for examining potential lead contamination than is established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The testing, which began in January due to nationwide concern stemming from the situation in Flint, Mich., found that 96 percent of all public school district water fixtures screened for lead were within conservative screening levels. State agencies and partners are actively working to address the fixtures with elevated levels – many of which were from non-drinking water sources.

“ADEQ is proud to stand with the many people, including our partners at the public school districts, who helped complete this proactive screening program in record time,” said Trevor Baggiore, Director, ADEQ Water Quality Division. “Protecting public health, especially the health of our children, is a primary part of our mission,” added Baggiore.

The data is presented in Arizona’s Public School Drinking Water Lead Screening Program report (PDF), which details the collaboration with the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), the Arizona School Facilities Board (SFB), and the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), and support from numerous county health and municipal partners and public school district superintendents.

Arizona is the only state that has successfully completed a proactive, comprehensive and voluntary screening program for lead in public school district drinking water and completed it within six months’ time. Report screening results represent:

  • 16,125 total samples
  • 14,782 fixtures
  • 11,585 buildings
  • 1,427 schools
  • 180 public school districts

The School Facilities Board is actively working with public school districts to replace the small number of fixtures with confirmed elevated lead levels. ADEQ is coordinating with these schools to sample and verify that fixture replacements solve the elevated lead levels in drinking water.

“As the SFB continues the program through completion of corrective action, we’d like to thank ADEQ for identifying those school buildings with elevated lead levels. It is through great partnerships such as this, that State resources, coupled with community support, can be leveraged to ensure safe learning environments where Arizona children thrive,” said Paul Bakalis, Executive Director of the Arizona School Facilities Board.

About The Arizona Public School Drinking Water Lead Screening Program

To ensure overall success and maximum reach for the screening program, ADEQ and its partners designed the proactive program to best work with and support public school districts’ participation. School faculty and staff were given all the necessary tools and resources to communicate, conduct, track, and provide the screening program information to parents and students at no cost.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) technical guidance specifies 20 parts lead per billion parts water (ppb) as the action level for screening lead in schools. ADEQ chose a more conservative screening level, 15 ppb, which effectively detected an additional 124 fixtures that would have been missed using EPA’s 20 ppb level.

Public Comments sought for Grand Canyon park AZPDES Permit renewal.

PHOENIX – The National Park Service applied for a AZPDES permit renewal for the proposed discharge of up to 0.75 million gallons per day (mgd) of treated domestic wastewater from the South Rim WWTP to Bright Angel Wash in the Colorado-Grand Canyon River Basin in Township 31N, Range 2E, Section 26, in Coconino County, Arizona.

The facility is a federally owned treatment works that receives domestic wastewater from residential and commercial sources in the Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim Village, various visitor facilities, resident staff housing and lodging. Sludge is treated by aerobic digestion and drying beds, then transported by truck to off-site storage lagoons.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Water Quality Division welcomes comments on the AZPDES Permit renewal for Grand Canyon National Park- South Rim WWTP through December 30.

You can review public notices and related documents here.

Queen Creek TMDL comment period extended.

The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) has extended the period for comments relating to the Queen Creek TMDL. The extension allows for comments to be emailed or postmarked by December 5, 2017.

The View Public Notices and Related Documents can be found here.

Any questions you have regarding the extended comment period or the TMDL document itself can be directed to:

Kyle Palmer
P: 602-771-4540

ADEQ encourages and values your input and participation in our process.

Follow-Up Discussion of Draft Queen Creek TMDL Report

SUPERIOR – The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) will hold a second public meeting to discuss the draft Queen Creek Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report.

This public meeting will take place on Monday, November 13 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Superior Town Hall Auditorium 199 North Lobb Avenue Superior, AZ 85173

A TMDL defines the total amount of a particular constituent or pollutant which can be introduced into a water body without causing an exceedance of state surface water quality standards.

The TMDL process enlists the participation of stakeholder groups and other interested parties to assist in identifying possible sources of pollution, to allocate loads of those pollutants in accordance with the objectives of the analysis, and to identify the most reasonable measures that should be implemented in order for the stream to achieve surface water quality standards.

View Draft TMDL, Public Notice & associated documents.

Please direct any questions you have regarding this event to Kyle Palmer, 602-771-4540; Email

ADEQ Announces $120,827 Brownfields Grant to Mohave County for Arnold Plaza Abatement Project

PHOENIX – Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials announced today a $120,827 Brownfields Grant award to Mohave County, Arizona to conduct an asbestos and lead-based paint abatement at Arnold Plaza in the City of Kingman.

The abatement work funded by this grant will help the County move forward with plans to sell Arnold Plaza to the Jerry Ambrose Veterans Council, who will remodel the building for use as a veterans services facility.

Established in 2003, the Brownfields Assistance Program (BAP) conducts projects through Arizona’s State Response Grant using funds provided by the Environmental Protection Agency. The program has funded more than 70 projects, assisting entities from local governments, schools, hospitals and nonprofits to tribes in completing environmental assessments, cleanup and restoration.

Redeveloping Brownfields has the potential to reduce environmental hazards, mitigate public health threats, create new business opportunities, increase tax revenue and restore habitats and blighted areas to productive use. Program funds are limited and available to eligible applicants in the order that they apply and qualify.

ADEQ Announces $62,850 Brownfields Grant to the Town of Miami, Gila County, AZ

PHOENIX – Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials announced today a $62,850 Brownfields Grant award to the Town of Miami to help the Bullion Plaza Cultural Center & Museum (BPCCM) expand its exhibits by making use of the basement of its historic building located at 150 North Plaza Circle in Miami. Currently contaminated with asbestos and lead-based paint, the building’s basement remains closed to the public.

Mayor Darryl Dalley said, “With the Town of Miami approaching its centennial year in March of 2018, this grant will help us improve this facility and expand the display of the rich history involving the copper mining industry and ethnic cultures that have been the heart and soul of Miami.”

Funds from this second Brownfields Grant will both help the Town realize its long-held vision for expanding the BPCCM and position Bullion Plaza as its showcase. Current museum exhibits document the economic, social and cultural history of Miami.

According to BPCCM Executive Director Thomas N. Foster, this second grant will help “add dimension and access for our visitors and the community overall,” and offer “safe, long-term development and enjoyment of formerly unusable spaces by abating and removing the hazards that linger.”

Last year, ADEQ provided an initial Brownfields Grant to the Town of Miami to:

  • complete an asbestos and lead-based paint survey of the building’s basement and crawl spaces,
  • identify contaminant locations and levels, and
  • estimate cleanup costs.

Clean-up work is scheduled to begin next week.

US EPA Proposes to Authorize Arizona’s Hazardous Waste Management Program Revisions

Between May 26, 1998, and July 28, 2006, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) revised certain rules under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). To maintain equivalency of state and federal programs after these changes, Arizona has applied to EPA for authorization of changes to its hazardous waste program under the RCRA.

EPA has reviewed Arizona’s application with regards to federal requirements and is proposing to authorize the state’s changes. EPA’s proposed determination is subject to public review and comment.
View the Proposed Rule Document >
View Arizona’s Authorization Application >

You may also view Arizona’s application by contacting the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Records Center at 602-771-4380, Monday through Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Comment Period
Ends Nov. 6, 2017
Comment Now >

EPA will prepare a document summarizing how public comments were considered in the final EPA decision. The summary of comments and responses will be available at EPA’s website when completed. This notice is given in accordance with 40 C.F.R. § 271.21(b)(4).

Capacity Development and Operator Certification Workshop

Current certified operators can earn professional development hours (PDHs) at our upcoming FREE workshop, featuring three training tracks: Operator Training, Public Water System Management Training and ADEQ Drinking Water Rule Review.

Oct. 17 – 18, 2017

Little America
2515 E Butler Ave.
Flagstaff, AZ 86004


Operator Tracks:
ADEQ Rule Review Sessions – Essential for both operators and owners or managers of PWS. Covers important drinking water rules and regulations applicable to all Arizona PWS. ADEQ staff will discuss reporting requirements; revised total coliform rule; NEW- Wastewater topics; stage 2 disinfection byproducts; common drinking water reporting mistakes and more.

Operator Training – Designed for current water or wastewater operators or those planning to become certified operators. Current operators earn Professional Development Hours (PDHs) toward certificate renewals. Topics include: water sources and treatment options; microbiology and water chemistry; well construction; operator math and more.

Manager/Owner Track:
Public Water System Management Training – Designed for owners of public water systems, board members of water-related organizations or municipalities, and superintendents and managers of public water systems. Topics include: emergency planning for water utilities; hazard analysis and risk mitigation; emergency response; water audit/water loss/leak detection; energy management; emerging technologies for small water systems; metering and remote sensing; and more.

Participants are responsible for their own lunch, travel and lodging.

View Agenda PDF
Register at this web site
Questions? Contact Mel Rose, 602-771-4695

September 2017 Operator Certification Training & Events

Register today to secure a place at the following events designed for operators, owners & managers of public water systems, and earn PDHs for your operator certification renewal during workshops and training.

ADEQ Free Operator Training *
Tuesday, September 12, 7:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. MST
ADEQ Phoenix Office — Room 3175 A/B & via Webinar
1110 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
*NEW! Wastewater training sessions, see agenda!

U.S. EPA: Water and Energy Nexus During Emergencies Workshop
Thursday, September 14, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. MST
1 East Continental Drive
Tempe, AZ 85281

ADEQ Confirms Groundwater Quality Now Restored at Three WQARF Sites in Phoenix and Quartzite

PHOENIX – Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) officials announced today that contaminated groundwater at three sites now meets applicable Aquifer Water Quality Standards (AWQSs), allowing their removal from the WQARF Registry. Each of these sites was added to the registry in 1998 due to groundwater contamination.
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